Timothée Chalamet’s portrayal of Willy Wonka made an impressive entry at the box office, grossing $14 million in previews and opening day eventually accumulating $39 million over its debut weekend, according to Variety. In comparison, Tim Burton’s adaptation of The Chocolate Factory in 2005 raked in $56 million in its opening weekend, while the original Gene Wilder version found more success in home media, collecting only about $4 million in total at the box office. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Wonka garnered a warmer reception from fans, reflected in a 3.5 rating on Letterboxd. It has a window of opportunity before other musicals like The Color Purple and Mean Girls arrive in theaters, potentially competing for audience attention. Interestingly, while some test audiences might not immediately recognize these upcoming films as musicals from their trailers, they are poised to enter the movie-musical landscape.
Chalamet’s Wonka: A Sweet Box Office Debut, Surpasses $150M globally
The movie “Wonka” led by Timothée Chalamet made a strong debut at the pre-Christmas box office, earning $39 million domestically and $53.6 million internationally in its opening weekend. The film’s global total reached $92.6 million, signaling a promising start especially for a musical—a genre that has faced challenges recently. Directed by Paul King and featuring a star-studded cast the movie received positive audience feedback with an A- CinemaScore and a significant portion of ticket buyers being between 18 and 34 years old. Chalamet’s appeal among younger audiences was evident with a slightly higher female turnout and high ratings from younger viewers.
“Wonka” aims to continue its success through the holiday season, joining other major releases like “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” and “The Color Purple.” The film’s arrival after the SAG-AFTRA strike was a relief for Warner Bros. and filmmakers, allowing them to promote the movie, particularly leveraging Chalamet’s popularity among younger demographics. The success of this film and others like “The Color Purple” hopes to counter the struggles the musical genre has faced, aspiring to emulate hits like “The Greatest Showman.”
Additionally, other films such as “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” “The Boy and the Heron” and “Godzilla Minus One” maintained strong positions at the box office, while new entries like “Christmas With the Chosen: Holy Night” and “Napoleon” showcased promising performances. Award contenders like “American Fiction” and “Poor Things” also gained attention for their critical acclaim and award nominations.